General Motors has told employment agencies in the US it will reduce the number of jobs for temporary contract workers.

A news agency report said GM had declined to specify the number of posts being axed but said the reductions started last March and applied to all of the automakers' US operations.

GM has been steadily reducing both blue and white collar jobs in North America as it reduces vehicle production capacity to better match falling demand spurred by high fuel prices and the subprime mortgage-induced credit crunch.

The report said it was aiming for around a one-fifth cut in white collar jobs which totalled 32,000 at the end of 2007.

Last July, the automaker announced another major round of cost and job cuts, and reduced benefits for remaining employees.

Two weeks later it reported a second quarter net loss of US$15.5bn compared with net income of $784m a year previously.